Yesterday there was a horrific car accident on the busy street in front of my office involving three cars. One car ran a red light as two others careened into it. While medical professionals struggled to save the victims, one of the victims, ironically the driver of the car that ran the red light, died on the scene.
Why do I bring up this tragic, yet true, tale? It is an accident and a death that could have been prevented, and that just breaks my heart.
It seems like summertime is when the living is easy, people gain more confidence, decide to have more fun and in turn, make really stupid choices. These choices can be painful and, even worse, deadly.
What could this driver have done to prevent his death? Follow and obey the law. It is against the law to run a red light. And yet this driver made the choice to push it. Even if he was late to an event, I think in retrospect (or in heaven) he would agree that it was not that important to run that red light.
Sure, it might seem exciting to be a little dangerous and push the limits, especially if you feel like you have insurance to back you up if something goes wrong. But no amount of car insurance or catastrophic health insurance will bring him back.
Want to avoid a car accident? (let’s be real, unless you are working on stunts in a movie, this is a common desire for all drivers.) Obey all traffic laws. While this did not work for the other driver in the accident (she did not run the red light), it is important to remember that you can control your actions but not others. Why make the road a crazy driving terrain with both parties disobeying the laws? Sometimes it seems like obeying traffic laws is not that cool, or that if no one sees then it is not a big problem. But if everyone disobeyed the traffic laws it would be like we were driving in China. (I know this, I have lived there. Drive at your own risk. The law is: the bigger one gets the right of way. It is absolutely terrifying.) It is these laws that keep us safe on the roads. And like in the story above, the consequences of disobeying these laws is more than just a traffic ticket.
While some accidents and injuries are not preventable, there are many that are, and it seems like my local newspaper is littered with them. Last week, a group of college students thought it would be fun to make homemade gas bombs and throw them in an abandoned mine shaft. Brilliant. It is easy to guess what happened next. The gas can tipped over and many of the students were sent to the hospital with serious burns. While most might gasp at this story, I am frustrated. This is an accident that could have been prevented.
Spend your summer playing safe to enjoy it to the fullest.